Immersive Flagperson Training
By Kevin Carbotte
One of the most important jobs on a construction site is the flagger. The flagger is the gatekeeper of the site, letting traffic through and stopping when equipment needs to be moved. This is a dangerous job and it is important that you know what you’re doing. It has been a long time since this was the job for the new kid on site.
So how do you make one of the most important jobs on the site fun to learn about? Currently, flaggers are trained in 2 parts. The first is in a classroom where you are trained on the procedures and regulations around the job. The second is a practical test where you are assessed on how well you can do the job. We can make it easier to retain some knowledge by having some fun learning though. While the flagger course was being revamped here in Manitoba we were working diligently on a game that took the 4 major components of the course and gamified them.
Following the release of the Flagger app for Android and iOS devices, the development team at BSD began experimenting with taking this project to the next step, and with that, Flagger VR was born. Flagger VR is a virtual reality adaptation of the original Flagger game. We replicated all of the course content in a room-scale VR experience that simulates what it’s like to hold the flagger position. Every feature found in the tablet game are also present in the VR version of the game.
Introduction to flagging
In the first scene, you are driving towards a flagger. In this scene you just observe, you are in the perspective of somebody coming to work or a commuter heading somewhere, you are stopped by the flagger at the site. In the scene, you see standard Manitoba construction signage such as the flagger sign and construction ahead sign. Once you arrive at the site you are put to work.
Don't Forget the PPE
The getting dressed scene gets you ready to start work. At the back of the supervisor’s pickup truck, you are asked to select your PPE (personal protective equipment) and any equipment you need for the job. You select boots, vest or jumpsuit, magazine, etc. Some items are wrong and some are right, it is up to you to pick the correct equipment.
It is not generally the job of the flagger to set up the signage and the pylons at the site, but in this scene you are asked to verify that the site is safe for you to do your job. You will make sure the signs are the correct lengths apart and that the spot you’re standing in is close enough to the site. This will help ensure your site is always safe for you to do your job. Now it is time for signaling.
The flagger has a few different signals they use to slow, stop, and release traffic. This scene puts your knowledge of flagger signals to the test . You can also check to make sure the sign is facing the same way. If you get too many wrongs you’ll have to start over though.
The original Flagger game was developed in partnership with the Manitoba Construction Sector Council, The Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba, and Manitoba Heavy to engage past, current, and future flaggers. That game is currently deployed to iPads and tablets in Manitoba for training. If your business is interested in this software you can contact us or the MBCSC for more information!
The VR version of the Flagger game is not currently deployed, but Manitoba Heavy is working with Bit Space to conduct a pilot test to evaluate the effectiveness of the software. We expect to release Flagger VR in Q4 2019.